I have a letter from him, addressed to me, in response to my inviting him many years ago when I was director of the Chehalis Ballet Center, to speak publically at Centralia College. His company was on tour to Seattle and then Portland, and I thought it might be a reasonable stop along the way (Centralia being halfway to Portland). I never really expected a response, much less a personal one. He explained that their time from breakdown in Seattle to setup in Portland precluded doing this but was also very nice and supportive.
I later got to know fairly well his sister-in-law (wife of Jack) who lives in Centralia. Peggy served on our ballet board and was so enthusiastic -- nice just like both her husband and brother-in-law.
Their daughter, Jody, and I volunteered together on a Gala committee for Cornish College. Jody, like her sister Jill and their mom, is super nice, energetic and a "go-getter."
I've got this great picture taken at the time -- the three of them *with* matching lipstick.
When Merce was honored 13 years ago by Cornish it was great to meet him, albeit briefly. [My job was to escort him to the dias for his speech, although he really needed no help and made his way up there just fine.]
When Merce and MCDC were in residence at Cornish in 1977, it was a big deal -- exciting for those of us that participated and most interesting to see this genius's work and creative process. He'd work by himself in one of the smaller studios everyday and then after our classes, would rehearse his company.
In preparation for the residency what had been originally the largest ballet studio but which was being used as "the" art studio was converted back to its former use and was neat to dance in.
One of John Cage's "circularly" written compositions was "played" out [and conducted] in the college's parking lot as part of the festivities. It worked except that the radio station those in their cars were to tune to on cue was written for New York stations, so it was even more random.
In my tribute piece on Nelle Fisher I mention how Nelle was once talking to Merce with they were both in Europe -- she teaching and he in tour. They had both been in Martha Graham's company together. She told me that she went backstage to talk to Merce, commenting to him, "I don't get it!" He quipped back, "There is nothing to get."
Cunningham was one of the many dance greats to have come out of the NW. I feel honored to have alighted in his presence and also that of his family.